Sisters Under Sail Teenage Girl's Sail Training Program

Media Coverage

Girl Scouts prepare for fantasy trip on Tallship Unicorn

THE PLAIN DEALER, July 04, 2006

By SARAH HOLLANDER Plain Dealer Reporter

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Kayla Klima has spent some time on a sailboat in summers past, but compared with her plans for later this month, that was sailing with a lowercase "s."

Kayla, 15, and five other area Girl Scouts plan to help sail a 110-foot, 150-ton schooner from Cleveland to Bay City, Mich.

The tallship Unicorn is coming to Cleveland for the Huntington Cleveland Harborfest as part of the Tallships Challenge race around the Great Lakes.

The ship offers Sisters Under Sail, a program that teaches girls the fundamentals of sailing - from navigating a course to setting sails and steering - along with leadership and teamwork skills. The Girl Scouts of Lake Erie Council chose six racially diverse girls ages 15 to 17to participate and hope they will serve as role models for younger girls.

"We want to encourage girls to take some level of risk and to become more comfortable with water," Council CEO Cheryl Goggans said. "We know in some minority groups, that's a significant issue." The girls will write journals for the council's Web site during their trip July 17-20.And Goggans hopes they will help promote a sailing program the council is developing with Lake Metroparks.

Dawn Santamaria of New Jersey founded Sisters Under Sail. She owns the Tallship Unicorn with her husband, Jay.

Santamaria, through firsthand experience raising four girls, said she knows the ship can be a great classroom for building character, self-esteem and confidence.

The local girls are from Cleveland, Euclid, Shaker Heights and North Olmsted.

"This is probably one of the more extreme things I've done," said Kayla, who joined Scouts as a Daisy in kindergarten. She will be a junior this fall at North Olmsted High School.

"I think my excitement is overpowering my nervousness," she said.

For more information on the program, go to www.TallshipUnicorn.com.

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